Earlier this year, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took up a personal challenge to ‘fix’ the social media platform. Recently, Facebook has been under constant scrutiny due to its involvement in the US Presidential elections and its role in the spread of fake news. In an attempt to improve the platform, Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm to focus on promoting meaningful social interactions over publisher content.
According to a recent report from Shareaholic, the aforementioned change in Facebook’s news feed has had an adverse effect on traffic generated from the platform. However, since the report cites data from the second half of 2017 which highlights the decline in website traffic from Facebook, the changes could make the situation worse. That’s because the data is from the period before Facebook had announced its News Feed changes, so it’s likely that the company was tweaking the algorithm much in advance of the actual announcement.
Facebook’s share of traffic to a sample of 2.5 lakh websites declined from 30.9 percent in the second half of 2016 to 18.2 percent in the second half of 2017. The decline has been attributed to a number of changes made to the News Feed along with a general change in user behavior on the platform.
While Facebook’s contribution towards website traffic declined in the second half of 2017, Pintrest and Instagram benefited from the shift. The report reveals that Instagram’s share grew almost ten time year-over-year in 2017, while Pinterest reported a 1.5 percent increase in share of visits in the same time period. Facebook’s contribution towards website traffic is expected to decline further as more users move away from the platform.